The National Football League’s increasingly visible injury legacy has become a topic of national debate, one that threatens to cast a lasting shadow over the country’s most popular, and profitable, sport.
Far less attention has been paid to the physical woes of other athletes, but a review of injury filings in California suggests that professional athletes of all stripes walk away from their sports with nagging and often permanent injuries.
Over the past two decades, more than 2,500 claims have been filed by former baseball, basketball, hockey and soccer players against their former teams in California’s workers’ compensation system.
In the past six years, more than 940 of them -- among them stars such as two-time baseball most valuable player Juan Gonzalez and basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar -- have made filings alleging serious brain and head injuries.
The claims were isolated as part of a Los Angeles Times analysis of more than 3 million filings made to the California Division of Workers’ Compensation. Last month, The Times published a searchable database of claims by football players, and now it's being updated will all other major team sports.
Database: workers' comp claims by baseball players
Database: workers' comp claims by basketball players
Database: workers' comp claims by hockey players
Database: workers' comp claims by soccer players
Database: workers' comp claims by women's basketball players
Although the total...